Manny Ramirez walked away from 25 milly last night. To play one season of baseball. If that blows your mind, then good, that’s the correct reaction. So, the 36-year-old remains a free agent, which means that The Nationals, after failing to nab any big name players this offseason, might be interested (via Nats Enquirer):
The New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals are among the teams known to be monitoring Ramirez’s situation but don’t appear inclined to pay him more than $20 million a season.
After turning down the aforementioned one-year deal from the Dodgers, and their previous two-year, $45 million offer, it’s pretty clear Manny wants a long-term contract. At 36, he might not be able to find one. Or at least not for the amount of money Scott Boras demands. Either way, adding a guy who’s at the tailend of his career to a team looking to rebuild with young talent doesn’t seem like a great fit. Although Manny would obviously put people in the seats.
Remember though, the Nats do have the willingness to throw big money at free agents, as they proved with their Mark Teixeira offer, which was somewhere in the ballpark of $160 mill/eight years. Sure, Tex is younger and a gold-glover, but when you compare his offensive production over the past three seasons to Manny’s, the two aren’t far off. In fact, Manny’s had the better production at the plate:
Manny: . 307 AVG, .419 OBP, .571 SLG, 31 HRs, 104 RBI
Tex: .299 AVG, .394 OBP, .543 SLG, 32 HRs, 112 RBI
I’m not saying that I necessarily want the Nats to sign Manny to a three-plus-year deal, but I wouldn’t be upset about it either. He’s a huge liability in the field, and not part of a long-term answer in D.C., but would make the team infinitely more interesting/entertaining, and instantly be the best hitter in the line-up. And really, at this point, we just want the team to sign somebody, ANYBODY, before spring training. We can’t handle another season with virtually the same 100-loss team they fielded last year.